The 2018 Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a bitterly cold winter all across the U.S. for the 2018-2019 season, starting in December all the way through to March.
As WIBW reported, the almanac is predicting that winter 2018 will be “colder-than-normal from the Continental Divide east through the Appalachians.”
The snow is predicted to start in early December already and to continue on into spring in late March, delaying the relief of warmer weather. February will be particularly brutal with “blustery and bitter winds and widespread snow showers.”
“Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, and snow-filled winter. We stand by our forecast and formula, which accurately predicted the many storms last winter, as well as this summer’s steamy, hot conditions,” said Farmer’s Almanac Editor Peter Geiger.
Toward the middle of March, the cold and wet conditions can be expected to continue “virtually coast to coast,” with “snow, sleet, and/or rain as well as strong and gusty winds to many areas,” according to the publication.
It further predicts above-average snowfall for the Great Lakes states, Midwest, and central and northern New England, with most of the precipitation expected to fall during January and February.
— The Farmers' Almanac (@FarmersAlmanac) August 28, 2018
Geiger warned that the end of winter won’t be coming with Groundhog Day.
“In particular, we are red-flagging March 20–23 for a potent East Coast storm that could deliver a wide variety of wintry precipitation just as we are making the transition from winter to spring. So, no matter what the groundhog says in February, you’ll know winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”
On the other hand, the completely separate publication Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a completely different winter, forecasting a warm, dry winter with “above-normal temperatures” in most parts of the country, according to USA Today.
— Old Farmer's Almanac (@almanac) August 27, 2018
Experts are divided on the predictions as well, with AccuWeather meteorologist Max Vido leaning more toward the Old Farmer’s Almanac prediction of a warmer winter. However, he’s conceded that the storm predictions are difficult to make, and that “You’ve only need one or two storms to put you over.”
Houston meteorologist Matt Lanza scoffed at the predictions of both the Old Farmer’s Almanac and the Farmer’s Almanac, writing in 2015, “Your annual reminder that using the Farmers’ Almanac for a seasonal meteorological outlook is about as good as going to a psychic.”
University of Georgia atmospheric scientist J. Marshall Shepherd added this.
“Weather forecasting is a rigorous and quantitative science steeped in physics, advanced math, fluid dynamics, and thermodynamics. Media fascination with predictions from almanacs or groundhogs perpetuates this perception.”